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Fatster’s Roundup

Good morning, all.

International Developments

? As Congolese soldiers overran the community of Minova last November they violently raped women and children, some as young as 5 years.  They did it for pleasure.  Update:  12 “senior officers in the Congolese army” are under arrest for the mass rapes.

? “Nine al-Shabab Islamic extremists, most wearing suicide vests, stormed Somalia’s main court complex”, killing 7 in addition to themselves.

? At least 20 people were reported killed in a northwest Syrian town during a government airstrike.  Update:  “At least 16 people have been killed in northeast Syria by governent air strikes”.

? Riverbend began blogging from Iraq in 2003, eventually fled to Syria, and went silent in 2007, leaving readers fearful for her safety. She has suddenly reappeared, though she advises her latest entry may be the final one.

? The US and Russia are in a War of Lists, with first one then the other listing people barred from their country.   Russia’s latest list includes John “Torture Memos” Yoo, David Addington (top aide to former Vice-President Dick “Dick” Cheney) and “two former commanders” of Guantanamo Bay.

International Finance

? “Portugal’s fed-up youth pack and go . . . : Job prospects are grim, health and education are in crisis and with more austerity to come, emigration is increasingly the only solution.”

? Departed former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s nice London digs are actually owned by a “mysterious company with links to THREE notorious tax havens.”

? After 22 years, the International Monetary Fund has recognized Somalia, which “could enable the IMF to provide technical support and policy advice to the impoverished country”.  Um, they also want Somalia to repay the $352m it owes them.

Money Matters USA

? A “coalition of unions and employers is proposing changes to the federal law [of 1974] that governs the pension plans of about 10 million people, including reducing [defined] benefits paid to retirees”.  Why?  “[L]awmakers have said they don’t intend to bail out the pension plans.”

? Teressa Ghilarducci explains clearly why Obama’s chained-CPI is  bad for seniors–and gets even worse as they get older.  Bob Shrum, on the other hand, offers a long-winded defense, including telling us that scrapping the cap on income subject to FICA won’t do because, well, Congress just won’t let it.  And other razor-sharp arguments.

? Reactions from some House Democrats to President Obama’s plans to cut Social Security and Medicare were negative, including comparison to a game of hide-and-seek.

? “Obama’s 2014 budget has more new taxes than he talked about.” [cont’d.]

Photo by Timothy K Hamilton under Creative Commons license

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.